Penguins assistant general manager Bill Guerin will serve as one of the honorary captains for the 2015 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Turning Stone Resort Casino on Jan. 24-25 in Utica, N.Y.
Each year, the All-Star Classic honorary captains join the participating teams in the locker room and on the benches during the Skills Competition and All-Star Game, and are recognized for their careers at the annual AHL Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Ceremony.
After being drafted by New Jersey in the first round (fifth overall) in 1989, Guerin began his 19-year professional playing career with the AHL’s Utica Devils – appearing in 40 games over the 1991-92 and 1992-93 seasons.
He went on to play 1,263 NHL games over 18 seasons for eight clubs, including the Penguins, recording 429 goals and 427 assists for 856 points and winning two Stanley Cups – his second coming with Pittsburgh in 2009 and his first coming with New Jersey in 1995. Guerin also represented the United States at three Olympic Games and the 1996 World Cup of Hockey, and is a 2013 inductee into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.
Before getting promoted to his current position, Guerin previously served as player development coach with the Penguins, assisting the organization’s young players and prospects. In that role, Guerin joked that he put a lot of miles on his car, burned a lot of gas and accumulated a lot of frequent-flyer miles traveling North America to work with guys, in Wilkes-Barre especially.
Guerin would touch base with those kids once every 1-2 weeks to monitor their progress and be there for them if they needed anything, whether it be advice, help – whatever he could do to make their seasons better without interfering.
Now, Guerin’s main responsibility as assistant general manager is serving as liason between the players and management.
“Billy brings a unique perspective as a guy who played in the NHL as recently as 2010,” Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford said when he promoted Guerin this past summer. “He is highly-respected across the hockey world and especially in our dressing room. I know he did a good job as player development coach, and he deserves a bigger role. I think he can have a huge impact on the structure of our organization and our personnel decisions.”